| Jul 31, 2023
Empowering Rhythms: Dance and Theatre
In the semi-urban areas of Lagos State, Nigeria, the Girl Child Art Foundation (GCAF) initiated a transformative after-school program that utilized dance and theatre as powerful tools to inspire and empower young girls. Among the various art skills employed, dance took centre stage in fostering positive change in the lives of these aspiring young women.
The program began with a dance class thoughtfully designed by the instructor to profoundly impact the participants before delving into other aspects of dance. Over five months, seventeen eager girls attended the weekly three-hour sessions with enthusiasm and determination.
Located in the heart of Bamako estate, Ojodu Berger, the GCAF office served as the space where the girls convened for their practical sessions. The dance class focused on three main objectives:
- Using dance as a stress-relief mechanism
- Promoting physical exercise
- Fostering a sense of community among the girls
Remarkably, the program achieved an impressive 92% participation rate from the girls.
As the girls gathered after-school for their rehearsals, the toll of their school's activities and exertions was evident in their tired demeanour. However, the magic of dance came alive after we provided some snacks before the first 30 minutes of exercise as their spirits lifted, and weariness gave way to enthusiasm for longer hours of practice. The dance exercise awakened and invigorated every inch of their bodies, enhancing flexibility and muscular strength, evident in their willingness to endure the rigorous rehearsals that followed.
Beyond physical benefits, dance was a conduit to create strong bonds among the participants. During the rehearsals, they were often split into pairs or formed a circle to perform the same dance steps. This powerful symbolism emphasized the importance of unity and solidarity, resonating with the message that, as a community, they could achieve anything they set their minds to. The absence of designated leader asides from the instructor during the dance sessions further reinforced the idea that unity and coordination were paramount. This concept extended to the need for girls and women to stand together, ensuring each other's safety and well-being in society.
The impact of the dance and theatre after-school program was only possible with the generous support of the sponsors. GCAF deeply appreciates you for your financial contributions and advisory support. Thanks to their donations, the program gave the girls access to quality instruction and supplies at no cost. The donations covered the instructors' salaries, ensuring the girls received expert guidance and mentorship. The sponsors' efforts allowed underprivileged girls to benefit from these enriching classes, opening doors to opportunities they would otherwise not have had.
In conclusion, the positive influence of dance and theatre in the lives of these young girls was evident in their transformed attitudes, increased self-confidence, and sense of belonging within the community. Through the empowering rhythms of dance, the Girl Child Art Foundation played a pivotal role in nurturing the next generation of strong, capable, and united women ready to make a lasting impact on society.
Dance rehearsal 2
Dance rehearsal 3
Dance rehearsal 4